ack in my high school days, I didn’t associate myself with friends that aspired to go to college. What I did have was friends that had already joined the Marine Corps and friends that were about to join. Although my mom insisted that I go to college, her pleas fell on deaf ears because nothing was going to change my mind at that point. By then, I already knew two things. One, I had no ambition, whatsoever, of going to college. Two, I was going to become a Marine.
On April 20, 2001, my recruiter took me to the L.A. MEPS station. It was there, one month shy of turning 18, that I signed my life over to the Marine Corps and swore an oath to this country, that “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Today, although with different tools and a new profession, I continue to live by that oath.
When I joined, I enlisted into the Delayed Entry Program and scheduled to begin bootcamp in January 2002. The morning of September 11, 2001, I got a call from a friend. When I answered he told me, “Dude, you are going to war!” I was still half asleep and told him that I would call him back later. Maybe ten minutes later, that same friend called again and said, “Seriously, you are going to war. Turn on the TV!” So I turned on the TV and told him, “Shit, it looks like I am going to war.” Although I was disgusted at the events that unfolded that morning, a part of me was honored knowing that I would be serving this great country during a time of war.